Camp by 5pm, I say at 3pm. A realistic goal, it would seem. And yet, the tyre punctures. The scenery is too good to miss. A once-in-a-lifetime animal emerges, instigating an hours-long pursuit. The intended free camp is jammed full of backpackers, strumming ukes and smoking what may not be cigarettes. Suddenly it’s 8pm, the stars are twinkling, and my rumbling stomach is refusing to be ‘tided over’ by snacks.
How I would love to be towing an Offline Domino at such moments. What a joy to have the option of simply killing the ignition, opening a door, and collapsing into a soft mattress. The daytime knowledge that setup wasn’t mandatory would give me the confidence to go further and explore more. But I’d be smiling too, knowing that the more extensive dream-lifestyle arrangement of the fully setup Domino is just the press of a button away.
The Domino’s 100 x 50 x 3mm Aussie steel chassis is laser-cut and welded on a jig before being hot dip galvanised. The trailer matches its tyres to the customer’s tow vehicle and features Cruisemaster XT suspension. Customers can option on adjustable airbags to ensure optimal towing however much weight is being carried.
Given the trailer’s impressive clearance and chamfered rear-end, the tow vehicle would bottom out before the camper, but as a safeguard, metal sheeting protects the underside. The spare tyre winds tight against the underbody on a chain controlled via a remote winch point. This positioning increases space and functionality in places customers interact with day-to-day.
Up front, there’s an ARK XO 750 jockey wheel and a Cruisemaster DO35 hitch. On review day, we turned a tight corner at the bottom of a steep hill, placing the trailer on sharp angles in every dimension. Given the hitch’s flex, the trailer didn’t act as a lever reducing rear-wheel traction and was able to roll along a different line with minimal corner cutting, making the turn possible. Drawbar length can be adjusted at point of purchase, so that customers can open single swing-out boot doors (like those of the FJ Cruiser and Prado) while the trailer is attached.
The two-pack-painted walls of the Domino are of marine-grade aluminium, while the upper walls are 30mm-thick composite panel. Tare is an option-dependent 1300kg, allowing for a 600kg payload up to the 1900kg ATM. Offline can increase the ATM if desired but by remaining under 2000kg you only need one chain and don’t need a breakaway system.
The Domino features bottle jack points on the suspension arms, high-lift jack points built into the chassis, and tow points for emergency recovery. An optional air-pressurisation system prevents dust ingress and would be super-helpful on Territorian bulldust roads. Optional STEDI reversing lights help to compensate for the lack of rear window visibility that comes with a taller trailer.
A custom-made box sits over the A-frame. A lid on its forward face hinges down to reveal storage, while a platform on its flat top enables the tying down of gear or firewood. This box and the panels on either side act as the stoneguard and are sprayed with raptor coating (which can be reapplied to maintain appearance), while 4kg gas bottles hide behind the side panels.
At the front on the driver’s side, a storage space caters to a Weber or porta-potti. Elsewhere in this cavern there are labelled fuses and circuit breakers, a Victron MPPT solar regulator for an optional fixed roof panel, an Anderson plug outlet (for charging accessories such as chainsaws), and the diesel tank for the diesel hot water service, which you fill with the pump at the servo. I’d prefer it if the filler could be accessed externally, like the water fill-points, to remove the chance of rogue drips when I remove the nozzle. Above this open storage space, a drawer half the width of the trailer slides out.
The next two doors along open onto shallow storage spaces. The frontmost reveals a fabricated metal cradle for a camping table and the driver’s side controls for the automated trailer opening. The door back from this is over the wheel arch and reveals a space that will fit items such as the shower hose, a rolled-up shower matt, and a power extension cord.
The final compartment on the driver’s side is largely taken up by the Cruisemaster airbag suspension controls, with the interface including a Nitto fitting that allows you to plug on a compressor hose and reinflate the tyres. The shallow rearmost compartment on the opposite/passenger side is similarly consumed by the buffer tank for the diesel hot water service.
You can also load gear onto the bed when driving, such as chairs or swags for the kids. I’d just be laying down a sheet and scanning gear for bugs or mud first!
On to the passenger side. The door closest to the drawbar swings sideways to reveal an Offline-made slide-out that can hold a 95L fridge/freezer. A drawer half the trailer’s width slides out over the fridge. The next door back hinges down to unveil the extraordinary kitchen. The kitchen slide-out comes out almost the entire width of the camper and features a three-burner Dometic cooktop and sink with a hot and cold mixer tap. At its far end, there’s open working space, plus additional space on a self-supporting shelf that folds 180 degrees off the top of the slide-out when you set it up. All working surfaces are stainless steel.
Two drawers for cutlery and utensils pull out towards the cook, one extends off the end of the slide, and there’s a top-accessed hidey-hole by the sink for detergent, soap and other essentials. You can even hang your tea-towel on flush hooks in the steel.
Parallel to the working side of this slide, an equally long box-shaped pantry slides out. On the cleanable steel ‘kitchen wall’, a Simarine battery-management display provides up-to-date information on charge, temperature and water levels, while isolation and control switches and a 12V point put power at your fingertips.
Above the wheel arch on this side, a rectangular door drops down and suspends at 90 degrees, further increasing prep space. Here, there’s a 12V point, a double 240V powerpoint, and a water tap. This tap enables fellow campers to stay hydrated without getting in the way of the chef. This water tap can optionally be connected to its own 75L tank, separate from the 105L main one. Given bore water is so widespread in the outback, adding on this tank is a great way to keep your drinking water clean, while still making it possible to stock up on water for other purposes.
The 240V power outlet in this recess, and the other one inside the camper, are powered by a 200Ah lithium battery working with an optional 2600W Enerdrive inverter. Such a dazzlingly high wattage enables campers to enjoy high-draw luxuries such as toasters and full manual coffee machines. There’s AC to DC charge via a 20A Enerdrive unit and DC to DC charge via a 40A Enerdrive unit for alternator and solar sources. The chargers, battery and inverter (quite large at 2600W) can be accessed internally, by removing the mattress.
A permanently exposed 85W roof panel pumps in sun power along with one of two alternating 175W panels. One of these 175W panels is positioned facing up on the lid’s roof when driving. This then folds over and faces the floor when the hard-floor is in place — but the fold-over process exposes a second 175W panel on the canvas roof. Pretty nifty, hey?
A Darche 180-degree Eclipse awning sets up over the living side. Two white/orange lights on the camper body and two white/orange LED strip lights attached to the underside of the horizontal awning poles make this space practical for evening use.
The review model also featured a Telstra cel-fi unit, which picks up on weak phone signals and boosts it. I’ve tried to load work emails and sports scores with one bar of 3G enough times to know how useful this $1600 option would be!
CHOICE ONE: TRAVEL MODE
The Domino’s most effort-free setup is called ‘travel mode’. It’s for those nights when you’re just crashing then moving on quickly the next day. The process is as follows. Level out at camp using the optional airbag suspension and the drawbar-installed spirit level, dropping any of the four stabiliser legs as needed. Lift the two-part upper back door until the gas struts kick in. Lower the bottom door and by so doing position the three-rung staircase (on the door’s flipside) that will enable entry. Step on up and turn around. Pull the top and bottom doors closed and lock them (on the prototype model reviewed, the doors required a bit of force to close, but Offline is aware of this and is making changes so that it’ll be a cinch). Shimmy into bed and count sheep.
I absolutely love this arrangement. It’s very caravan-like. What’s so good about it all is that this travel mode isn’t even a compromise. There’s still the same headroom up at the bedhead where it counts. You can still access the 240V powerpoints. The two massive side-by-side slide-out drawers (1310mm long by 615mm wide) that extend from the foot of the bed are still accessible when the door is open, so you can grab what you need (such as clothes) on the way in and then store these in multi-tiered cabinets at the foot of the bed. I will note about these large drawers though, that when fully opening them in travel mode, you do have to finger the suspension cords to the side at the right moment, so they don’t catch on the runners. It’s just one of those things you get into the habit of. Having the drawers wider is worth it.
Camp or travel mode, the awesome sleeping experience doesn’t change. Customers get to select a full queen-sized mattress up to 30cm thick from Forty Winks. Behind the head of the bed, there’s a shelf ideal for a laptop or a paperback (or an encyclopaedia) which is made up of three carpeted panels. These lift out to grant immediate bird’s-eye access to the same two half-width drawers that slide out externally, too. Think of this space as a bedside cabinet. You can even install a divider in the drawers to isolate their deepest sections, so your bedtime gear is separate from practical or cooking gear.
Reading lights with flexi-necks, as well as an overhead strip light, make polishing off a few pages of the latest John Grisham a possibility. The bedhead is backed by a full-width leather backrest, using which you can sit up comfortably in bed, particularly once there’s a pillow stuffed behind your back. The straight lines of the carpeted ceiling run closer to your head than on the Raker, but headroom is sufficient for six-footers to sit up in a natural position without making contact. A narrow carpeted ledge runs down the bed both sides, putting sleepers at a remove from cold walls and metal, and providing a place to put smartphones (chargeable via a 12V point both sides).
Even in travel mode, you can shower and use the loo within a side-mounted 23Zero cubicle. It’s a straightforward fold-out polyester affair that drops down to the floor and pegs in, right next to the shower point. This point takes a Bullfinch trigger-operated showerhead and hose, which also comes in handy for rinsing off your feet after walks through sand or dirt. Just consider the lay of the land before showering in this mode, because you don’t want water running over the ground where you step inside.
CHOICE TWO: CAMP MODE
When you’re wanting to avoid the weather or set up an ideal interior living space for long and comfortable stays, you can deploy full ‘camp mode’. The process is as follows. Release four over-centre latches holding the lid down. Swing out safety locks preventing the doors from opening in transit. Fold the bottom half of the two-part top door back flat against the top part and lock it in this position with bungee cord loops. Lower the bottom door. Press the control switch on either side to start the camper unfolding. Wait until the folding lid stops itself, at the point it presses on limit switches.
Use a drill to lower two support legs under the hard-floor. Undo a side door zip and step on in under the draping canvas. Stand up a captive U-frame pole from the hard-floor, extending it to stretch the canvas. Unloop poles that pivot from the top of this U-frame, extend them and insert their end spigots into holes within the in-built fan-out gable mechanism. Finally, remove the poles crossing horizontally over the bed. These are here because they provide a platform to catch the canvas during pack-up, so that no canvas is draping onto the bed next time you go to sleep in travel mode.
Under the high canvas ceiling, the faux-wood laminate hard-floor space measures 1.66m by 2m, meaning that, at a push, kids could fit in here on stretchers. With the shorter floor though (compared to the Raker), this camper is geared to couples, or families with older kids who sleep in swags outside.
The few gaps around the hinged space can be fully closed off with a vinyl panel that velcroes on. There’s a vent for the diesel heater on the driver’s side, controls for the inverter and a double 240V powerpoint on the passenger side, and 12V on both. Each side cabinet features a Tasmanian oak bench up top.
Below this, multi-tiered cupboards with open shelving face the floorspace (the same ones used during travel mode) — though these invert during the automated fold-out process, so are most practical for organisational use once at camp.
The canvas comes in three colours — blue, green and sand. Blue will help keep light levels down inside, sand will keep the temperature down, and green will strike the middle ground. A shiny solar blanket on the roof regulates interior temperature, as does the cross-breeze between the three canvas mesh windows/doors around the hard-floor, the two smaller elevated ones near the gable peak, and the three double-glazed glass windows in the composite panel. The optional diesel heater and any electric blankets packed will keep desert dwellers toasty on chilly nights, whereas optional air-conditioning and Sirocco fans will keep tourers of the tropics cool, calm and collected.
With the external ensuite attached, you can step straight down through the hard-floor side door and into a private space with a porta-potti and trigger-operated showerhead. This ensuite attaches with velcro and zips, props out with a few simple poles, and has a floor that clips on with carabiners. The created space is rectangular, has a ventilation window, has pockets for shampoo, and features velcro loops for hanging the showerhead when not in use. The fact you don’t have to make the nudie dash to potentially non-existent or poorly lit public toilets at night is a huge, huge win.
The Offline Domino starts at $64,400 and comes with a two-year warranty. If you’re keen to see it in the flesh, follow Offline’s Facebook page to learn about upcoming shows and public viewing opportunities, or enquire about arranging a private inspection — even if you’re from interstate.
The Domino is the ideal trailer for a couple willing to invest in quality and keen to support the Australian economy. The perfect owners care about a good night’s sleep, relaxing downtime, staying clean and eating well, but also want to travel to far-flung offroad destinations that haven’t been opened to the mainstream tourist public. That sounds like a lot of people I know!
Ball weight 150kg
Suspension Cruisemaster XT suspension with G35 shock absorbers. Optional airbag suspension upgrade and Fox remote reservoir shock absorber upgrade
Brakes 12in electric
Coupling Cruisemaster DO35
Chassis/Drawbar 100 x 50 x 3mm high-grade RHS steel, chassis hot dip galvanised. Up to 200mm drawbar extension available.
Body Marine-grade aluminium and stainless steel with some composite panel walls
Wheel/tyre Matched to tow vehicle up to
Style Teardrop/hard-floor rear-fold
Travel 2350mm (H) x 1800mm (W) x 5070mm (L)
Floor length 2000mm (L) x 1660mm (W)
Water 105L tank for kitchen and ensuite, optional 75L tank for drinking water from separate tap, optional Webasto diesel heater for hot water at sink and ensuite shower outlet
Gas 2 x 4kg bottles, one plumbed
Kitchen Stainless steel slide-out with Dometic three burner and sink, 95L Dometic fridge/freezer
Battery 200Ah lithium as seen. 40A Enerdrive DC to DC charger standard and Enerdrive 20A AC to DC charger standard. Optional 400 to 2600W Enerdrive inverter. Simarine battery monitoring system.
Ph 0422 350 110